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A Guide to Vegan Makeup

When we hear the word vegan, most of us first think about the specific diet. A diet that does not include foods of animal origin. This is not wrong. However, being vegan can expand beyond a diet to a lifestyle. Many vegans choose this lifestyle because they believe that animals should not be exploited or treated cruelly in order to satisfy human needs. Therefore, clothes, shoes, cosmetics, and other items should not be made in a process that requires any kind of animal exploitation.

It was not always easy to live by these standards. Only recently with technological advancements it is becoming easier. Still many people are not aware of the full spectrum of products which are available to vegans today.

This article aims to shed more light on the topic of vegan makeup. We do our best to cover all the pros and cons, and everything in between. If you are interested in vegan makeup, this is the right place for you.

What is Vegan Makeup?

Vegan makeup does not contain any animal ingredients or any animal-derived products. This means that many well-known and effective components of makeup formulas, such as collagen, beeswax, lanolin, honey, milk, albumen, and many others, cannot be found in vegan makeup.

However vegan makeup can unfortunately be tested on animals. This is of course considered by many to be animal cruelty. There are different views on what exactly is vegan makeup. Some people believe that even when all the ingredients are vegan if the product has been tested on animals it should not be considered vegan.

To put it simply. Cruelty-free makeup does not necessarily mean the same as vegan makeup, or vice versa. Let’s take a look at some possibilities:

  1. Cruelty-free but not vegan – Makeup can be cruelty-free (not tested on animals) but still contain animal-derived ingredients.
  2. Vegan but not cruelty-free – Makeup can contain only vegan ingredients but still be tested on animals. Therefore, it is not cruelty-free.
  3. Vegan and cruelty-free –This is makeup with only vegan ingredients that have not been tested animals.

All of these important details certainly complicate the production process of vegan makeup. Do they affect its quality? We’ll get to that. But first, let’s take a look at the options for vegan makeup on today’s market.

What are the options on the market?

We’ve picked some examples of the best cruelty-free vegan makeup products available today on The purpose is to demonstrate in terms of quality, these products are not behind regular cosmetics. In fact, they are often better.

#1 Foundation

Luscious Cosmetics Velvet Matte Oil-Control Pressed Powder Foundation

This vegan and cruelty-free foundation has received very good user reviews. It works very well on oily and normal skin, offers protection against UV radiation, and does not clog up the pores. It is also fragrance-free.

#2 Mascara

Skin2Spirit Natural Mineral Mascara

A 100% natural mascara with no parabens, it’s also free of GMOs, gluten, mercury, lead, or petroleum. User reviews tell us that it does not smudge easily, does not irritate the eyes, and it is just as thick as any regular mascara. It is also easily removed.

#3 Eyeliner

Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eyeliner – Blackest Black

Milani’s liquid eyeliner is non-feathering, waterproof, and transfer-proof. It has all the qualities a good eyeliner should have. It is not animal-tested and it is 100% vegan. At a price of $4.79, it’s a bargain.

These are just a few examples but the choice of quality vegan makeup is actually huge, and growing. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of vegan cosmetics.

Vegan Makeup – Pros and Cons


  • Cruelty-free:Most vegan makeup is not animal-tested.
  • Good for the environment:The packaging of vegan makeup products is often made from recycled materials.
  • 100% Natural:Vegan cosmetics are often made of 100% natural ingredients.
  • High-quality: Vegan makeup can often match and surpass the quality of other cosmetic product on the market.
  • Better for sensitive skin:Vegan makeup products have simpler and fewer ingredients. The risk of unwanted side effects is much lower compared to non-vegan makeup.


  • The Price:It’s common for vegan makeup to be more expensive. Because of the more complicated production process, reduced availability of vegan ingredients, etc.
  • Lack of Important Ingredients:Vegan makeup does not contain some of the best skincare ingredients such as collagen or albumin. These substances of animal origin are proven to be very beneficial for skin health.

The Experience of Using Vegan Makeup

People who choose vegan makeup believe that a vegan lifestyle goes beyond food. A great majority of those who decide to make a switch to vegan makeup, report no negative effects.

Vegan makeup is often full of nutrients, and free of potentially dangerous and aggressive chemicals such as parabens. Very often vegan makeup formulas are also free of allergens, like gluten. Because of this people with more sensitive skin quickly notice improvements on their skin once they start using these products. Vegan makeup does not lack quality. It is often eco-friendly, non-toxic, highly ethical, and cruelty-free.

The Bottom Line

Vegan makeup has come a long way from its humble beginnings. What was previously considered low quality, expensive, and hard to find. Has become a growing market for high-quality products. It is safe to say that as long as the consciousness about animal rights is spreading, the availability and quality of vegan products will continue to grow.

Christy is a licensed cosmetologist with 10 years of experience working for one of the top 20 Paul Mitchell Salons in the US. She is also an experienced Brand Advisor, and Beauty Blogger.